Service drop

Hey guys, I’m fairly new at this so pardon the silly question but, on a 3 wire service drop( 3 insulated wires wrapped around a bare stranded metal wire ) is that bare wire a ground or is it just supporting the other wires? Thanks very much Brian:neutral: I’m talking about the service line from the pole at street to the house, 100 amp service. I see 16 guys looked at my question but no one will help out. Surely you experienced inspectors must know this one? lol

The neutral wire can act as a support, but if you have three insulated wires coming in and its a 240V service, it is likely just a support.

Sounds like a 3 phase service.

Something to look at, but in my area, I haven’t seen a 100A household service in the 3 phase variety. Keep in mind I am new at this as well.

sounds like a standard 240 volt, 2 blacks and a white neutral. the wire strand is the support cable or it can also be a neutral as well.
at one house i did the other day there was 4 blacks one white and a wrapped cable, they were connected as 2 black to each connection at the mast and both the white and strand were tied in to the white.
200 amp service at the main.
Hydro confirmed the installation as ok

What you describe is properly called “aerial quadraplex cable”. Three insulated conductors and one bare stranded would typically be used for a 3-phase service to an establishment, or an overhead 4-wire feeder to an outbuilding. In the case of the feeder, the bare stranded conductor will be the equipment ground, and in the case of the service drop, the bare stranded conductor will be the neutral.

In nearly every case in which you’ll observe aerial cable, this cable is of the ACSR type. You’ll sometimes hear overhead cable generically referred to as ACSR, which stands for ‘Aluminium Conductor, Steel Reinforced’. The bare stranded conductor is mostly all aluminium strands, except for the center-most strand or two. In this manner, this bare conductor can also serve the additional function of properly supporting the entire cable. It is for this reason that you’ll see the service bail (aka, ‘dead end grip’, ‘wedge grip’, etc) attached to this bare conductor at each end.

Thank you all for your responses. I’m inclined to think now that ots just a support cable because its just feeding a fairly small house. Thanks again